Epic Of Beowulf Essay

1271 words - 5 pages

Throughout life a man makes many descions which determine the way his life will be lived and the way it will end. All choices a man makes in his life have consequences and each man must account for them. In life, every man must reap what he has sown. The values a man holds to be important in his life govern the choices he makes. The epic Beowulf is a good example of this truth. In the story, Beowulf is a god-like human who possesses a strength and warrior spirit unmatched by anyone. The choices he has made resulted in this power and it is also those same choices that play a part in his end.
In Beowulf's adventurous life he undertakes challenges that normal men cannot even conceive of engaging. He lived by honor and glory and sought them in everything he did. The greatest honor to him was to die in a valiant battle; therefore he was fearless and fought with ferociousness, not caring if he lives or dies. Knowledge of his past conquests had been spread throughout the land and people revered him everywhere. This great success in battle won him great honor and also made him very confident. Beowulf readily boasted of his victories:
Fame-winning deeds/ have come early to my hands. The affair of Grendel/ has been made known to me on my native turf./ The sailors speak of this splendid hall,/ this most stately building, standing idle/ and
silent of voices, as soon as the evening light/ has hidden below the heaven's bright edge./ Whereupon it was urged by the ablest men/ among our people, men proved in counsel,/ that I should seek you out, most sovereign Hrothgar./ These men knew well the weight of my hands./ Had they not seen me come home from fights/ where I had bound five Giants- their blood was upon me-/ cleaned out a nest of them? Had I not crushed on the wave/ sea-serpents by night in narrow struggle,/ broken the beasts? (The bane of the Geats,/ they had asked for their trouble.) And shall I not try/ a single match with this monster Grendel,/ a trial against this troll?/ (Beowulf 409-425).
This quote is an example of him boasting over his strength and past victories. It also portrays is fearlessness and his tendency to be overconfident. Beowulf does not show any fear when discussing Grendel and is confident that the monster does not stand a chance against his strength:
As I am informed this unlovely one/ is careless enough to carry no weapon,/ so that my Lord Hygelac, my leader in war,/ may take joy in me, I abjure utterly/ the bearing of sword or shielding yellow/ board in this battle! With bare hands shall I/ grapple with the fiend, fight to the...

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